What do we know about Direct Payments’ PAs?

Skills for Care have produced an interesting report on the Pa workforce which shows much lower sickness absence, turnover and higher pay than the independent sector – though LA pay is still the highest! The problem with generic stats are that they are only the starting point for questions, but the report gives us some pointers.

We know however that families supporting their family member with complex needs have to manage a large burden, not helped by the threat of seeing their family member moved to inappropriate services when we see what’s happened to too many in ATUs. The Bringing Us Together group’s survey found many parents in that plight wish they’d never asked for help. Mark Neary’s recent question “What happens to my son when I die?” epitomises the problem. There’s no support in the package to pay for brokerage or management… it all falls on the family member managing. This also means if you do have a lead member of the team to do some management, there’s no career progression here so they will probably have to move on. The strain is seen on the sharing by families on social media.

It’d be good to see some real drilling down of the statistics to see the differences between small support packages and those managing very complex needs – and whether there’s some good practice in LAs which commissions for the long-term for the person – not just to save costs by pushing the strain onto the families and undermining their health.  http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Documents/NMDS-SC-and-intelligence/NMDS-SC/Analysis-pages/Individual-employers-and-personal-assistants-2017.pdf